Practice and Beyond Episode 1

Please signin to watch the full session

Practice and Beyond Episode 1

8 Aug, 3:30 PM

[Music] good evening everyone welcome to the launch of a brand new interview series on netflix called practice and beyond practice and beyond is an attempt to showcase offbeat physician journeys my name is dr deepika panapa and i'm going to be the host for this show episode after episode right so um i have started as a practicing physician moved on to be a corporate leader and very recently an entrepreneur and throughout this journey i met a number of interesting people who were like-minded individuals colleagues corporate leaders mentors leaders with only one similarity we all started as physicians practice and beyond is an attempt to bring to you the journeys the offbeat career trajectories of these fascinating people right and it gives me great pleasure to start with um the session today with another very very interesting person called dr anunya jain right before we bring aj as we all call him um on to uh the diocese here let's play a short av to take you through his life journey rush foreign [Music] you [Music] oh [Music] that was the journey of aj through various pictures that he uh graced gracefully shared with us thank you aj for that um let me do give you a quick introduction aj is a physician mba with more than 17 years of healthcare career with various progressive leadership roles he's worked in various domains like hospital operations emergency care u.s healthcare support with complete profit and loss responsibility for various business streams he's worked in various parts of the world including the us the middle east and of course india so let's ladies and gentlemen let's welcome dr anunna jain aj please come on stage thank you dr deepika thank you netflix for organizing this a pleasure being here um and i look forward to having a wonderful conversation today likewise aj it's always a pleasure to talk to you um and i'm so glad that um you have agreed to be my first guest on this show so thank you very very much so let's let's really as they always say start from the beginning so aj why don't you tell us um you know when i was when i made that decision or i decided okay uh this is going to be my career i am going to switch make the career transition that's when the corporate journey really started so take us through why did you decide to be a physician and then how did you make the transition so a lot of a lot of transitions in life have happened by chance um some by design for sure but i cannot claim that all of them were by design um let me first start with where i came from so you know whenever anybody asks me this question i'm often confused because i don't really know where i'm from um i was born in delhi but grew up all of my life in amdibar and that's where i proceeded onwards from all of my education right from kindergarten till my mbbs um and then uh my first switch came right traditionally everybody would have done medicine i was always interested in pediatrics um and uh and suddenly there was this new stream of work called emergency medicine that came in um and so that um new excitement kind of saw me moving from gujarat all the way to hyderabad on the southeastern coast of india um and trying my hand at doing something unique if the reason to choose emergency medicine was i often felt grossly inept at being able to manage anything on a flight and in a train and i thought maybe this way somebody when calls for help i'd be able to step up and be a doctor um so that was my very first transition so through the through the years of residency through the years of practice i thoroughly enjoyed it but that's when i started getting into the technology bug as far as healthcare is concerned and so very early on got introduced to ultrasound and how you use ultrasound for decision making as well as for procedures as far as emergency medicines and so on um those interests then then ramified into me doing research and that saw me going to the us i i did my fellowship in clinical research at the mayo clinic um and there i got introduced to the world of business of medicine uh and so that's where things started getting a little bit more interesting so while i was doing research i got interested in competitive landscaping and so then decided that um you know while i'm doing research let me also try and do a little bit of business on the side and so got my mba there while i was working at the university of rochester in upstate new york um and then that saw a little bit of firsts happening in life right um so got involved in creating the first interoperability network where data can be exchanged across different applications across one single city in the city of new york for brainstorm patients decided to come back in 2013 again an unorthodox decision i would say for me and my wife who were both studying there and working there and enjoying life um but came back uh came back partly because of arrogance because we'll go we'll get back again um if the time is right um and then you know that never happened uh you know absolutely so got back um started working poorly in for-profit healthcare um got got good at it but then also realized that there's potential for impact elsewhere so then did the very first quality improvement network in india um based on a social insurance channel which was the arab history in pradesh and telangana and so um got to doing that on the social development side got back to u.s healthcare after that because i realized that operations was something that i could be good at and so that's how i got back into building technologies with sap and with cerner did a bunch of hospitals with their emr networks as well and so i went from being a physician who liked technology to now being a physician who created technology and as i always like to say somehow along the way i created my third role or my third phase of the career where i made technology that was so complicated and nobody was actually able to use it and so the last phase of my career with iks health and now with japaigo um seeing me either incorporate technology into newer roles and making it easy for physicians and nurses to use that technology and to get the best value out of it um and so again like i said part of these decisions have been by choice part of these have just been natural progressions uh to how i've seen my career and i've enjoyed every bit of it right from doing my first cricothyrotomy in an emergency room to uh to now creating technology at scale and implementing it in public healthcare in india so fascinating and you know i've heard this earlier and i um i have one question from this entire journey that you shared um why did you make the decision of clinical research what was it that propelled you um to go to clinical research while you could have chosen um a non uh or non-traditional path in india as well that's my first question and second why u.s why not any other country sure um so this um this brings me back to my love for maths actually um and so i i've always been very good at math it's something that's always excited me and i was always excited by stories that data can tell as far as healthcare and patience is concerned um and so we started our very first clinical registry of patients back in hyderabad when i was doing my residency got an opportunity to present that in south africa and in the u.s and when i was visiting the u.s several mentors came up to me and told me that you know if you ever want to learn how to do really good research come work with us um and so that's how we decided to go back to the us i found a wonderful mentor dr lafasted um who works at the mayo clinic and and for me she's she manages multiple roles she's double boarded in emergency medicine and neurology and so just emulating her and trying to walk in her footsteps was something that i looked forward to very surprisingly that was one of my first experiences of mentorship as well um something that we've sorely lacked as far as india is concerned and so it was the pull of mentorship it was the pull of data the liking for being able to tell a story with numbers uh is what excited me to get into the clinical research side of things great so aja uh for the larger audience here i wanted you to kind of clarify you and i both have been in situations where we met physicians in the us right and they never get surprised when they hear our profiles and somehow indian physicians get more surprised that oh they studied medicine but now they're doing something else um would you want to tell why like how what mentors did you see in the u.s who had um who'd had no qualms or who had no um you know like they didn't feel odd that they were doing contributing to clinical medicine yet not practicing oh yeah multiple multiple of those but i think that your main cause of that is just the journey that we follow into medicine versus the journey that american students follow into medicine in many ways right now in some ways american students is not really students right because they've already got a bachelor's in something they've already gotten good at something and they come from very diverse backgrounds right from nursing to [Music] biotechnology to neurosciences etc and so i think there's some amount of maturity that they're already entering with as far as medicine is concerned like us who directly enter into medicine right after 12th and so perhaps medicine is a pathway already for them into doing something bigger better different in many ways right um also the fact that perhaps we see the natural culmination of medicine as practicing and doing good um and looking after patients and i think there is social expectations around it there's cultural expectations around it i cannot tell you the number of times people have walked up to me and told me that you know you don't practice then you're a doctor really you know like that that still happens right in many ways um but i think in the us what happens is there is there is the perhaps a right amount of passion that gets mixed up with uh with the knowledge of medicine as well uh and perhaps a larger picture starts to immoral just as it's starting to emerge in india as well now um i've seen several physicians now be entrepreneurs start their own businesses um you know do social development work as well and so i think part of that is that part of it is also the mentorship aspect of it as you rightly said i think it's because people encourage you to be different right the difference is acceptable there whereas the difference is questionable here as i like to say right and so i think part of it is just that part of it is just the opportunity for doing it as well i i still remember early 90s when when we were doing medicine you know at that point of time there was hardly any options of us doing it right right from uh right from your education days you're taught either it's it's you know i still remember in my 12th grade after 12th graduation i was carrying two forms one was that of being an engineer and the other one was doing medicine right in my hand till i got into the seat right and so i think those are the only two pathways that you're taught you're taught that this is a vocation right you're not taught that this is knowledge or this is the foundation to something else as well and so i think it's perhaps those differences that lead to a better exploration of opportunity as far as the us is concerned versus how we naturally lead towards clinical practice in india yeah so in fact um a very very very similar journey you know i remember i had two forms as well the only difference was one was for journalism and the other was for medicine and uh little did i know one day i'll be hosting a series where a little bit of my journalist would you know kind of come on surface so great um what i um what i wanted to talk about now was you know again um aj i've also been through that path where you know you look at people going to these large offices and we've always seen people going to hospitals when we are growing up as a physician and you wonder what people do in these offices right why what can we do over computers so would you like to tell uh the audience on how as a physician you played several roles and you were able to contribute way more than a non-physician could oh absolutely and i think part of that is uh being in the revolution that we are right we are in the digital era we are in the information revolution in many ways right um and if you look at health information you know gone are the days when healthcare technology would be produced by engineers by technologists elsewhere right they want to step into the shoes of a physician and just as we can't step into the shoes of being technologists you know they can't step really into our shoes as well and so they look at some of this expertise coming and joining their teams right um and so throughout my journey and i'll talk a little bit of of some of these experiences right it's been about bringing your clinical experience and your your clinical gestalt um into these domains as well um so um very early on right i mean i'll start with my sap and cerner journey in many ways sap and sonar big manufacturers of enterprise the resource planning systems electronic medical record systems um and when they build their systems they want to know what the clinical workflows are going to be so that a physician or a nurse really accepts their platform right and so right there there is a team of docs or team of nurses that they start to create from day one for me it was a it was a great opportunity because not only was i able to guide that entire business towards understanding and being able to speak to physicians in their language but also the creation of new technology itself and so those were early days of artificial intelligence machine learning around creating precision medicine like stuff and so as we were working with hospitals in spain hospitals in thailand um some of those experiences then started to bear fruit but the simplest example that i can remember is my technology team would always talk about data as something very being very alien right where i was able to bring in the human angle to it and relate it to this patient what happens if this cancer patient comes to you how do you really treat this cancer patient what medicine would you use and how would you manage their side effects how do you understand uh those concepts right and so i think it's just being able to speak that language and being able to relate to those physicians which is which is one part of it uh the second part of it is then realizing challenges from um a physician's perspective or a healthcare practitioner's perspective right so right now for example um as i work with japaico i work with auxiliary nurse midwives you know asha workers um work you know healthcare practitioners in cscs phcs district hospitals medical colleges etc um and so even in those places right um they're very alienated with what this technology animal is going to do but the moment they see a physician talking to them a physician explaining things to them they kind of get it um right it also helps you create new stuff as well and so all of the innovations that we do right now i need something that's called the digital innovations unit here at chipago in india um and so i'll give you my most recent example right we've created an open source platform that allows non-statisticians to look at data and to analyze it right and that's based from a very clinical perspective the only reason why i'm able to contribute and work on things like that is because i think about it from my life of being a physician and my life of knowing healthcare from close quarters when i design technologies for patients in order to accept what family planning method they're going to use again the idea is how would i counsel them as a physician and so therefore then incorporate that into technology itself and so it's bringing that together the understanding of technology and the understanding of digital health along with what happens in the world of medicine i think is where the nice intersection of healthcare and technology happens for example for me um and and i think that's what is unique about people like us were able to bring that to the industry yeah i mean i on a lighter note i still remember when we were working together um you know an engineer would interpret digitalis toxicity as a toxicity of the digits and we all know what is the dallas toxicity stands for so you know you can teach them technology but you really can't teach the medicine and we can learn technology way faster right so a huge huge contribution physicians can make so um aj why don't you just tell us about your current role or starting with the full form of japan and what japaigo does in india and what is digital innovation that you're trying to bring in here sure very happy too um so very interestingly um japan was started off as an international not-for-profit affiliated with the johns hopkins university um it used to stand for the johns hopkins program for international education and gynecology and obstetrics right so it's a very capacity building human resources and health care enabling kind of organization um over the last 50 years in fact this is our 50th year of operations now we've been in india for the last 20 odd years japan has just become japan so there is no just education or not just you know building up of human resources we work in a variety of areas we support almost 28 states in india with their health care programs across maternal newborn health family planning sexual reproductive health primary health care which is a big program for us we've been involved in at the front lines of cobit response as well and so we've worked across many united states enabling them to operationalize icus and critical care units for covert care is concerned very recently we've started working in vaccination and immunizations as well as women's cancer as well but overall we work in order with the state governments with the central government in order to strengthen uh their programs as far as healthcare is concerned last year we started what was called the digital innovations unit so within the digital innovations unit we do four primary things um so i have a small team of people who effectively either build platforms or enhance platforms um that the state or the center is already using and so we build in a little bit of innovation in there so wherein we build either interoperability into platforms or we look at how best we can um enhance these platforms from a human-centric design perspective um the second work that we do is we use technology for capacity building and so for education and so we're very big again living very true to the name of japan itself we uh they use technology to do digital education in many ways and so we have physical simulation lab and we have digital platforms that then allow learners right from nurses to physicians to a ms uh to practice their skills practice their learning use virtual reality and augmented reality in the field um in order to enhance uh some of the skill building is concerned um and and all of this is primarily to overcome the resource constraints that india and uh and public health care in india essentially goes through um we then use a lot of the data that comes to us and so we do bits and artificial intelligence and machine learning where we do risk ratification and so predicting who's going to have what outcome and therefore what kind of intervention should happen to them early on in order to prevent those interventions themselves and so we do that across family planning predicting who's going to drop out of family planning we do that for maternal health um as to who's which mother is going to have a bad outcome which newborn is going to go into the icu etc and so that we can plan the intervention and the resource allocation for these patients better um and the last part is we support a large initiatives as far as the government of india is concerned and so again the government of india has been really pushing the digital health umbrella as far as global scale is concerned um and so supporting the east jeepney telemedicine platform supporting the ashman bharata digital mission as far as interoperability and data utilization is concerned i think those are the four key areas um that we kind of focus on as far as work is concerned but broadly we've got about 400 people at japan um 300 of them really focus on implementing programs at the front lines of care and the small digital team that i have essentially works at the background trying to enhance their capabilities improving the reach rate quality and impact of these programs themselves so if you uh importantly you know i can see some questions around purpose etc so where which part of the country are you guys really creating impact is it mumbai bangalore delhi is it tier 2 tier 3 i think i want the audience to know that why digital and why ayushman bharat mission because where is it that you want to reach sure um and so we work in bharat and so the heartland of india in many ways so up bihar madhya pradesh rajasthan the northeastern states those are really our playgrounds um our primary levels of intervention are at the primary health care centers going down into the community we do a bit of work at secondary and tertiary care but it's primarily in that kind of a setting where massively resource constrained massively understaffed uh and yet creating impact in many ways um and so it's there and it's very surprising right when you hear this um that it's the a ms that every a m in india today has a digital application that they use in order to record data in order to report data on and that digital application is not just a data entry platform it's actually a clinical decision support system and so it tells them what the mother needs at this point of time it allows them to make the referrals appropriately allows them to track the mothers through their entire journey of care as well these are the people who are using some of the artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms in order to predict what's going to happen to the mothers and therefore intervene at the front lines and so um we we kind of focus there we also make their lives easier in many ways and so we do a lot of med tech work as well um when we interface devices directly into applications we use the internet of things in order to secure data directly and to improve the quality of the data as well so that their administrative burden starts to go down and the quality of data starts to go up um and so yeah so we're working right there in the villages of madhya pradesh in vidisha district in ganjbasoda in bangalore in udaipur and so those are primarily the areas where um where we working wonderful really wonderful so aj could you explain to us just one moment where you felt that uh this was that something that japaigo did or you did or your team did um that was a very very fulfilling thing you saved somebody's life saved a child but any one experience that really touched a human life and made the whole experience and the whole journey very fulfilling and so uh you know had you asked me that before i read a few years back i would have told you how you know a clinician fought and donated blood and saved life in many ways right i mean i think that would have been my story um what i'm going to tell you now is something that we experienced a couple of months back and so we developed this application which allows somebody to use their waiting times in some of these public health care facilities in order to explore their family planning choices right now when you think of family planning you generally think about you know 18 to 39 years of age more or less uh you know those would be the people who'd be coming up and it was advertised in that manner as well right um our third third beneficiary right third client who came to this kiosk was a 56 year old woman right now you're kind of wondering okay why is she here is she really trying to do something right and she comes there and she diligently goes through the entire workflow of the application it's a very visual application it's got voiceovers etc it's got voice recognition in it and so you can you can use it even if you're not literate in many ways right um and and you know at the end of it you get a little bit of a slip where you can take to the doctor and really decide on your choices etc that the application's given you and so we asked her right you know like you're 56 right you're menopausal right and she said yeah you know i've even had a hysterectomy done because if you like like why are you trying to do this um and very amazingly she said i'm trying to do this for my daughter anymore and so that was the new india that we start to see where uh it's about empowering women it's about empowering the women who are around you as well and it was so heartening to see um that somebody was trying to engage with a digital technology not really meant for somebody of her age but she's trying to engage with it um and she likes the experience of being able to do that right um um i'll give you one more example right this is with with asha workers in rajasthan so we were a lord in in rajasthan we were across four districts and so we went to their district um you know and and everybody has grungat on right in in rajasthan um and and whenever we go to some of these sites we find a little small light inside that nowadays right and that is the light of the mobile device right and so um i think everybody is so engaged with digital technologies right now they like the experience and so there's the sasha who does a digital health survey of our entire village um right um and she feels very proud of it she feels very proud that she knows every family in her village that she knows their data that she knows who's gonna have her period who's getting pregnant who's had a baby right now um you know and so she's able to manage the health um of her offer of her community in many ways right so just seeing that ownership kind of gives you goosebumps you know when you when you enter into those kind of areas and mind you i'm talking tribal areas right this is not even rural india this is tribal india in many ways um and so again you learn from these journeys right and so i think for me it's less about learning from my journey or your journey it's about understanding what each one of these people goes through at the front lines and how we can do better as clinicians as as clinicians who've turned to non-clinical things and as non-clinicians themselves i think we owe it to endure to do something for them great no no it's really really delighting to hear what is the far-fetched impact that these innovation initiatives have had so aj coming back to the main you know main stream of our discussion is if you were to go back and rejoin the management workforce as a clinician what would be your advice in terms of what skills do you think uh um a clinician should have to be able to be make more successful choices in the corporate world or in the impact creating world such as yours yeah and um and perhaps i'll add one more piece to that the picker is that given today there's one core skill that i foresee uh that every clinician needs to have right while they practice medicine and that's going to be the ability of consuming data and being able to interact with data themselves right um with the aashman bharati digital mission every patient is going to have a digital health locker they're going to have their entire health record with them and they're going to give it to you as a clinician right and so you so you will need to learn how to look at that record how do you look at data how do you look at trends of of hemoglobin values and when do you intervene and when do you not intervene and how do you understand lipid values that are fluctuating about a mean right and should you really get there or not get there and so i think um that is one ability that i definitely you know advise that all clinicians must start to get is to be digitally literate now right so we're all we're all literate we're all health literate but now it's about being digital literate and now it's then being about data literate as well so i think that's that's one part of it um but back to the other part of the question right if i was to enter as a clinician back into the world of of management as well um one piece that i think we don't clearly get enough of as as clinicians is just presentation skills and communication skills right um i think we've been lucky that we've had enough opportunities of being able to speak at venues of seeing other people speak as well and honing some of those skills and practicing them day in day out um and so i think that would be one skill that i would definitely advise any young technician to start getting today um if they want to clearly start making an impact whether it is in the world of business whether it's in the world of medicine or anywhere else um the other part of it that i would also advise is just understanding how to manage cultural teams right and how do you deal with people themselves um in medicine we often become self-centered practitioners right where we work as individuals or we work with just two people or three people teams right and when you enter the world of of offices or corporates or or other parts of the business that's when you get surrounded by 100 people 200 people 300 people i know that you led an 800 people team right and so how do you really manage those groups of individuals how do you learn to identify with what ails them how do you make life easier for them how do you help them see your perspective how do you understand their perspective how do you empathize with them i think those are pieces that i think are life skills that all of us need to have and um and and just go at it um i wish i had done uh more of um integration differentiation where that would have certainly made life easier in mba um but yeah but that's an opportunity missed but but then again so digital literacy being comfortable with data being comfortable with people are and being comfortable with the language to present i think are four very very critical skills that i completely agree with you that a physician needs not only to make a mark in the corporate world but to even in their own practice you know so that that was all about professional journey let's move a little bit on your personal update so quick thing uh aj if your uh wife minal you know tell us a little about her and if she was to describe you how she'd describe you uh so there's this there's this story that we have right um i again about many mentors in life and so dr jeromey was my other mentor who i worked with in the world of business and medicine in the us um and and you know and you would often ask me now mira and i used to work together we worked 24 7 with each other for five years after marriage um very funnily um but but yeah he would ask her that you know why did you ever marry anania right and you know simple answer was because he knows how to drive and so for me one more description for me is he's a driver right because i can ferry her from one place to the other um uh yeah so so that would be it uh nina herself is a physician by training but she's very much like us she did her master's in public health she entered she became a health economist um and she does health economics and outcomes research she works with a pharmaceutical organization called novartis um and deals with pricing decisions and hta approvals for them across europe and uh and southeast asia perfect no no absolutely and what about what's your uh what's your take on reading uh aj i mean i know that you're a voracious reader and i have seen that lacking against in several times in positions we are never encouraged to read i mean obviously i mean but what's your take on uh inculcating the habit of reading investigations no no absolutely essential i think somehow we've got to find uh the right mix of where we can read and how we can read as well um i found something that works for me and uh you know off late for the last three four years i've gotten into audio books and so my drive to work and my drive back from work is often um you know full of reading or listening to those books in many ways right and so somehow that kind of has worked for me i think the idea behind reading is figuring out what appeals to you as far as topics are concerned you know we all grew up reading fiction in many ways and i found that while fiction does open up your mind to language um it rarely develops your intellect uh and so from from those perspectives i found a bunch of authors that i don't do when i need to need spiritual stuff and i need to lead really hardcore technology related stuff uh when i need to read about management stuff etc and so there's there's a host of topics i'm unlike many other readers i like to start four books at one point of time and read a little by little little by little everywhere i'm just trying to put those things into pieces um another thing that's probably happened is trying to pick up books that uh you need at a particular point of time and so identifying those books that you can perhaps read and then use in your work right away i think that's been one piece that i learned during my mbas is i was picking subjects which i was rapidly using at the same point of time and so that fermented that knowledge and made a very solid foundation and so very similarly with books as well as much as possible read stuff that um you're looking at right now or you're dealing with right now or you have the potential to use right now um and i think then that knowledge really or that that insight really sticks on with you any any favorites any recommendation to the viewers i love reading simon sinek um he's quickly become a favorite author of mine as i've gotten more deeper into organizational culture and and how you should really look at leadership and organizations as well and so um so yeah simon sinek has become a grossly favorite author of mine i love a couple of quotes from him one was that he says that you know when you make rules in organization rules are supposed to be made as guidelines right but you should allow people you trust to break those rules because you believe they're doing it in times of exception um and so you always allow those exceptions it's never a black and white story and and as any mba teacher would tell you right a professor would tell you maybe it's perhaps the best answer right and so i think you've got to learn to live in ambiguity you've got to learn to live in the grey as well everything's never just black and white yeah but ready as positions we are very good at that you know we never give a conclusive answer even when we know uh what it is so i think that really helps and i agree simon sinek is my favorite too and one book i could recommend the viewers is start with why it is applicable to anything and everything in life right um perfect so uh it's time for our rapid fire round so we have a short rapid fire round uh egypt for you uh before we open up for audience questions so here's your first question and you you have to say the first thing that comes to your mind okay um one thing that you could change about the indian medical education system um introducing ultrasound very early on in in medical education all right um your favorite movie of all times and why um my favorite movie of all time the star wars uh there's there's no question about now if you ask me to pick out of one of the six star wars then or nine star wars now no that's not happening i love every bit of every star wars movie all right um are you a traveler or a couch potato i'm a traveling couch potato to put it simply uh no but loft we'd love to watch television um love to travel as well for sure a little bit restricted with a pet parent uh livelihood that i have right now but yeah but but all for it all right what has been your most embarrassing moment ever um my most embarrassing moment ever so i was in med school at that point of time and and again this is a community physician so i can see this right i was doing a poor rectal examination right and and the habit what we did when taught while doing poor rectal examination was that you keep asking patients the history questions so not just so that you get done but you're also distracting the patients right um and so somehow i got to social history at that point of time and i asked the patient um if he smokes and the patient kind of replied back and said why is it smoking from behind and and yeah and that was amazing indeed it can be messy for everyone okay and my final rapid fire question who's your mentor and what's your biggest lesson that you've learned from him or her so many mentors in life right um uh right from um you know father murondo who was uh who's taught me in school how to really explore things and not just start trust what's written how to do research that was my first inspiration of research right my doctor mahesh joshi who really taught me how you have to go beyond your comfort zone and how doing interventions and doing procedures is not the most important thing it's about deciding when to do them and looking at everything in a cerebral manner that's perhaps the most important thing um to dr stead who just taught me the value of just working at it diligently and and going at it and sharing it the credit it with everybody who's around you i think the way that she mentored 30 of us at one point of time was amazing to dr jerome you basically said never get comfortable right i mean why do you want to be comfortable in life it's all right to take challenges and and if you if you can't find comfort in something you know get something that makes you comfortable then so he's the one who encouraged me to get my mba as well um to right now doctor somehow is my country director and and basically challenges me every single day to say that you know no you've got to be at the cutting edge you've got to leapfrog constraints right you can't think about about the healthcare ecosystem as everybody thinks about oh it's constrained oh it's not working etc you've got to somehow surpass each one of these these things and so i think many many mentors in many ways um i've been very lucky and grateful for that yeah no no i know and i'm the kind of person you are you'd take you know like fish takes to water for mentorship so mentorship comes to those who are seeking it you know um all right on that note if you were to sum up your life's mantra aj what that would be no um life's mantra is very simple be happy and be kind to yourself right i mean this is something of a newfound thing in many ways you will always find something to be unhappy about you'll always find something to push yourself on and do and to say oh i could have done this better and i could have done that better and for me right now it's about saying that's okay it's it's all right if if everything didn't get done right be kind to yourself give yourself the time uh to learn to reflect to grow and and to help others right and so yeah so be kind and be be kind to yourself is is is something that's become a life controller all right so now aj um thank you for that i'll move on to some audience questions we have some interesting questions from the audience um there's a gentleman um dr mahadev desai his question is could you suggest a few titles of books i think that's where he put that question that one should read so would you like to make a couple of suggestions yeah um uh so from good to great is one book that i would definitely recommend um as deepika said uh simon sinek starting with why is is an absolutely amazing book um if you are slightly of the spiritual band then the dalai lamas cat is a fabulous book um i think it takes you deeper into understanding your spirituality and your spiritual bend without actually being preachy in nature um and so yeah so i think those would be the top three books perhaps that that i would recommend that everybody reads all right we have a question from nikita um hello sir could you find post md community medicine if one wants to work in public health globally uh should one do an mph or a phd um so uh ah interesting one i think it depends upon what field of public health you want to work in um and so if if you're looking to work in uh public health as a monitoring and evaluation person then doing a phd is is well worth the the bees um however if you want to do epidemiology or program management as far as of as community medicine or or public health is concerned then an mph is fine so i think uh defining what the next parameter for you or what the next sub stream for you is going to be as far as public health is concerned is incredibly important and if you ever want to work in digital health then don't get a degree just get the experience and and you'll be fine all right i hope nikita answers your question we have next question from hari he says that vast majority of research in india is carried by large farmer corporations we know that why are small studies conducted by few researchers not taking off in india and how does one deal with the data privacy concerns um as well as uh political meddling in research okay all right uh interesting question um uh i'll give you my take on it and and i won't be politically correct in this one right i think the reason why uh small research does not take off is that we're never taught how to publish uh our stuff um right and so if you look at indian researchers either we publish in low impact journals or we're not very diligent about our methodology of work itself we don't follow standards um in uh in how we write or how we actually execute the research itself some of the chalta hai attitude starts off coming inside and we take a little bit of shortcuts um and so i think that's that's one reason why at the same time i know several researchers who got over a hundred publications from india as well one of them is a speaker on netflix in fact dr kamil you know on cardiology and so i think there's there's equal amounts of that um the second part is that some of our research topics are often validation of research that's already been done and so not really novel stuff that we're looking at um and i think asking yourself the hard question of why you want to do this research and why this is the research question that you're answering and not something else is it truly really novel uh or not i think those are pieces that um that we don't quite do enough of as we step into research from a very clinical perspective i think the reason why a lot of us don't find enough research experience is because all of us um almost end up doing stuff around case studies and we never relegate ourselves to strict clinical research with statistics and with uh with p values and stuff of that sort and so i think those are perhaps one of the questions why um you know research doesn't really take off um in as big of a way as well the other aspect is very career oriented right in in the us or elsewhere research gets you credits research gets you your position of being an assistant professor or being a professor and um and carrying onwards in the hierarchy of uh professorships in many ways in india that doesn't perhaps exist uh in a very strong sense um and so that's why perhaps we don't get that political meddling and research i think that's you know it depends it depends on which perspective you look at as to what you're trying to achieve as far as research is concerned um however when it comes to data security and data privacy i think those are pieces that um are now starting to get very strong in india as well the icmr the indian council of medical research has very strict policies on what can be done as human subjects research and what can't be done as human subjects research what kind of consent policies you should be following et cetera and and my one advice to every researcher would be get your research proposals i'll be approved before even start collecting the first variable of data itself and getting that institutional review board approval is critical to getting your research up in a good journal you aj i hope that answers harry's question um and yeah we all know that icmr is now really in you know midst of expansion and we'll see a lot more of icmr soon with that i think i have a very interesting question from sanjeev um and sanjeev let me tell you that while i was on my corporate journey and i decided to make the switch practically every day of this every day of my life somebody asked me this question and i asked this question myself uh and i think over a period of time we've uh we've made comfort with and we found our purpose right so i'll ask aj um what is the exact purpose of this life journey and i hope what do you mean by this life journey is when one decides to make the switch how does one find an insightful purpose um so i have a slightly different take on that i don't think my my life's purpose has changed quite a bit what's changed is the magnitude of that slice purpose right and so when i started off as a physician it was always about all right let me influence one life at a time let me make someone's life better let me practice something that's noble that's magnanimous that can achieve that can achieve a difference in in one individual's life or one patient's life or two patient life and so you feel very proud of when you save someone's life right in many ways gradually that purpose has become it's not just important to save one life right it's important to affect the lives of the many and so achieving impact at scale um has kind of become uh life's purpose it's also been a value in several organizations that i've worked with as well deepak and i identify with that very clearly in our very last organization in many ways right um and now it's about achieving good impact at scale right and and uh and doing good for the larger community laying down the foundation for the future in many ways and so that's where mentorship that's where working with public health and the social development sector starts to come in and so i think that's largely still the purpose it's it's about achieving impact right and whether the impact is at one individual or at large right um in many ways now the goal is like google right if you can't touch a billion lines what have you ever done right and so so the goal is hopefully one of the interventions that we do will touch a billion lives well absolutely yeah i think with the digital innovation work and the you know the length and breadth of the country that you are trying to reach uh definitely one will uh you will reach various various lives as compared to the number you would have been able to reach as a singular individual practitioner right um so i think i would wind up the audience questions with a question from another colleague of us so hi mumta good to have you on the session um and uh her question is very interesting um how to not be too comfortable and yet to be happy and kind to yourself and i am so okay with mumta asking this question i need to read that question one more time because ask his mother is how to not be too comfortable and yet be happy and kind to yourself um and so um you know if if you ask this question to my current boss it's all about being finding yourself in ambiguity um right and and how do you get better with ambiguity it's ambiguity is a very very interesting domain to be in right when you have an ambiguous question um right you can't you can't really be comfortable with yourself at all points of time right you have to challenge yourself to get beyond that ambiguity and yet because it's ambiguity um you can be kind to yourself as well and and you don't have to solve it the same day right that you can rely on doing it over time as well um and so i think the questions around um also the level at which you don't be comfortable with yourself and the level at which you'll be kind to yourself in many ways i find that in my day-to-day i'm kind to myself right but on the larger scheme of things i'm not comfortable right i'm always trying to challenge myself um and so i think as long as you stick to those that differentiation and and learn to live in ambiguity you'll find your happiness and your comfort zone while when you're not comfortable and i think over a period of time as you grow up in your career path ambiguity becomes your comfort zone if there is too much clarity you start twiddling your thumbs and you're like okay what am i here to do you know all right so though i said that was the last question but i cannot ignore the question that savin has asked and his question is an online mba or an offline mba in this world uh in today's world with digital era and southern really it doesn't really matter which institute i think the more question is whether it should be online and offline so aj and i will not take um any further questions from the audience but this is the final question yeah and so if you personally ask me right um i would almost always prefer an offline mba to an online mba the reason for that is uh the time that you get to uh interact with people then just expands um right what you learn in mba is less from just the class or just the lecture itself or just the topic that you've been taught um but more from understanding the perspective that everybody has on that topic right and so um you know when i was doing my mba i had i had physicians i had nurses i had technologists i had scientists who were part of their mba class i had fresh graduates who were part of the mba class at consultants right and everybody would look at that same problems ever so slight of a difference right and and so having the opportunity of looking at that and witnessing that of understanding the thought process of working in on programs and projects as teams together i think just adds to the value that an mba carries with it not to mention the networking opportunity that's your first lesson in real networking right and so again having the opportunity of sitting down with somebody and engaging with them and social conversation while making business sense uh i think is is a very very valuable skill that you can learn only in an offline mba so yeah so if it were my vote i would say an offline mba unless um and because the maybe has to come in unless you're doing a very specialized mba in a specific topic itself right um now that might be okay uh to do in an online mode because the education there is going to be so damn specific um that you're going to get everything that you want because you wanted that lecture because you wanted that class and so if you're doing a general mba i would definitely say an offline mba and if you're doing a very highly specific mba of sorts like nba or or diploma and business and data management or something of that sort then any other online yeah i don't know i completely agree uh in fact the the whole beauty of the mba is that it's a it's a journey you know and the network that you build while you're on that journey is your most valuable asset when you come out of the b school right so um on that note aj um my final question and i think i'm gonna ask this question to every guest that i have on this program is what is your piece of advice to either people joining the medi you know medicine as a career or coming out you're a fresh graduates on how to view their careers and what opportunity does india have for them today um be very open don't don't think of things with blinders on like a horse right i mean getting a clinical degree is is the start of your career right it's not the culmination that now you should start getting into practice and now you should start earning and now you should start creating your patient base and now you should start making money um i think a medical education is a fantastic foundation and you should treat it like that um just as a lot of us have learned that mbbs is not enough and therefore we do an md and sometimes an md is not enough and so we do an nch right or we do a dnb right i i think just as we do that it's it's it's equally important to look at um a medical education as a foundation um right and not as the eventual target and so i think i think that would be the one advice that i'd give to young professionals who are coming out there's still a whole world of opportunity that's open in front of you that you can continue to explore and you can do fantastic at um you can be good at both financially professionally um personally i think there's there's a lot of satisfaction a lot of happiness and a lot of a lot of prestige a lot of impact that you can find even in those dreams thank you thank you aj there couldn't have been better words with which we could have ended this session that be open don't have blinders on and just be open to the challenges that life presents to you whether it is an mba or an md or an mca an mph just give it your best shot stay hungry stay foolish so i think with those thank you so much aj for not only being a guest on the show but being the first guest on the show uh it really makes this show special for me and of course for our viewers thank you so much on behalf of the metfix team as well um and we'll call it a day i hope um you had a great time as much as we did thanks everyone thanks thanks thank you aj


Should we enter the clinical field or should we enter the world of healthcare management? Should we study in India or pursue the post graduate programs abroad? To answer these questions and many more, Join us LIVE, in this 1st Episode of 'Practice and Beyond' with Dr. Anunaya Jain, a physician with over 17+ years of experience in healthcare leadership roles with deep understanding of healthcare systems through personal experiences as a practitioner, a healthcare administrator, and director of a healthcare business in emerging markets and Dr. Deepika Ponnappa, Founder, Practice & Beyond.


About Medflix

Medflix is a new platform by PlexusMD, India's most active and trusted doctor community. On Medflix, you can discover live surgeries, discussions, conferences and courses from some of the top doctors and institutions across the world. Join clubs in your areas of interest and access hundreds of amazing live discussions everyday.

Contact us

+91 9023-729662

Medflix Logo

© 2022 Plexus Professionals Network Pvt Ltd